Kansas City Royals: Should Yordano Ventura be a Royals Hall of Famer?

The Kansas City Royals announced the 2019 Royals Hall of Fame nominations. When looking at the group, some players seem less qualified than others, while others seem like possible choices. One specific player though might provide some controversy as to whether or not he should be in the Hall.

After the Kansas City Royals released their 2019 Royals Hall of Fame ballot, it’s only natural that opinions of who deserves to be inducted come with it. The list this year doesn’t have many names that stand out, but one is set to give Royals nation something to talk about for a while.

No, I’m not referring to Bo Jackson. While that is always an interesting topic every year. I’m referring to Yordano Ventura.

What do the numbers suggest?

Ventura’s case is an interesting one. During his four years with the Royals, Ventura posted a 3.89 ERA over 547.2 innings and 98 games. He was 38-31 as a starter, stuck out 470 hitters while walking 211, and posted a career 7.0 WAR. During the Royals run in the playoffs, Ventura posted a 4.66 ERA over 10 games and 46.1 innings.

So how do those numbers compare to other pitchers in the Royals Hall of Fame?

**only statistics from their time in Kansas City**

  • Dennis Leonard: 12 years, 3.70 ERA, 2,187.0 innings, 1,323 strikeouts to 622 walks. The thing that’s impressive about Leonard though is his franchise leading 103 complete games and 23 shutouts. His 26.0 WAR is also 11th
  • Paul Splittorff: 15 years, 3.81 ERA, 2,554.2 innings, 1,057 strikeouts to 780 walks. Splittoff also has the franchise record in most wins (166), innings pitched, and games started (392). He is also 16th in WAR (23.3).
  • Bret Saberhagen: 8 years, 3.21 ERA, 1,660.1 innings, 1,093 strikeouts to 331 walks. Saberhagen also has the franchise record in WHIP (1.134) and was the Royals 1985 World Series MVP, two-time Cy Young (1985 and 1989), two-time All-Star (1987 and 1990), and won one Gold Glove (1990). He is also 5th in WAR (40.8).
  • Dan Quisenberry: 10 years, 2.55 ERA, 920.1 innings, 321 strikeouts to 139 walks, 238 saves. Quisenberry also holds the franchise record in ERA, and ERA+ (160). He was a three-time All-Star and five-time Rolaids Relief pitcher. Quisenberry is also 12th in WAR (25.5).
  • Jeff Montgomery: 12 years, 3.20 ERA, 849.1 innings, 720 strikeouts to 287 walks, 304 saves. Montgomery also holds the franchise record in games played (686), saves, and games finished (543). He was a three-time All-Star and a one-time Rolaids Relief pitcher and is 20th in WAR (21.0).
  • Larry Gura: 10 years, 3.72 ERA, 1,701.1 innings, 633 strikeouts to 503 walks. He was also an All-Star in 1980. He is also 22nd in WAR (18.7).
  • Mark Gubicza: 13 years, 3.96 ERA, 2,223.1 innings, 1,371 strikeouts to 786 walks. He was a two-time All-Star (1988 and 1989). He is also 6th in WAR (38.2).
  • Steve Busby: 8 years, 3.72 ERA, 1,060.2 innings, 659 innings to 433 walks. He was a two-time All-Star (1974 and 1975).
  • Kevin Appier: 13 years, 3.49 ERA, 1,843.2 innings, 1,458 strikeouts to 634 walks. Appier is also the franchise leader in WAR (47.2), and strikeouts. He was also an All-Star (1995).

When you look at how Ventura compares to the other pitchers that are currently in the Royals Hall of Fame, he doesn’t look too far off. Unfortunately, I don’t know if he is at the same level as the other pitchers.

Is he a Royals Hall of Famer?

For me, I don’t think you can put Ventura in the Hall of Fame. For a simple answer, he just didn’t play long enough. While his numbers aren’t too far off from what current members have done, the longevity is what seems to hold Ventura back and make the gap bigger between him and the current members.

It is hard for me to say that simply because he was such a key contributor for the Royals success. The flare he brought to every game, and the playoff contribution he provided for the Royals is hard to forget. But you have to leave emotion out of this.

If Ventura didn’t pass away in his tragic accident and continued on the trend he currently was, then I believe he would have worked his way into the Royals Hall of Fame. I just don’t see how the four years he played equates to what the current pitchers in the Royals Hall achieved.

Does this mean Ventura doesn’t deserve something in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely not. I believe the Royals need to do something that will help future Royals fans remember/learn about the fire Ventura brought to Kansas City. I’ve been a big supporter in doing something as simple as a torch in the outfield that is dedicated to “Ace”.

Perhaps they have a section cut out just for him that commemorate all of his big moments, including his Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS when he threw 7.0 innings and allowing just three runs to the Angels, and his 7.0 innings in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series against the Giants that sent the series to Game 7. Along with any other games that best define what type of player Ventura was.

Final Thoughts

For me, I don’t believe Ventura is a Royals Hall of Famer. Just because it is a team Hall of Fame and not the MLB Hall of Fame doesn’t mean emotions and sentiment should be involved. Fan favorites don’t always get in, and that’s okay. Bo Jackson still isn’t in the Royals Hall of Fame and he was one of the hottest names in all of baseball.

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If you did a blind test, or a “say it out loud test”, and gave his statistics, I don’t believe you would say “yes” when asked if he is a Royals Hall of Famer.

I love Ace, and I miss him tremendously. But I believe the Royals can honor his life and his contributions in a way other than putting him in the Royals Hall of Fame.

What do you think Royals nation? Is Yordano Ventura a Royals Hall of Famer? Let us know below!

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